Season Ends on a High at the Helly Hansen Killarney Adventure Race

It couldn’t have been better!

Winning the Helly Hansen Killarney Adventure Race 2012 last weekend was the perfect end to a hard, intesnse season – which saw 6 demanding races packed into 4 months.

About the Race

I travelled to Ireland with a group of friends from Zurich who also competed in the 67km event.

The route was quite demanding, not because of the amount of height metres that needed to be climbed so much as the technical nature of the hill runs. The race began with a fast run up and down Strickeen hill in the Gap of Dunloe (7.5km) followed by a bike stage through the Gap of Dunloe into the Black Valley, up to Molls Gap/Ladies View and down to upper Lough Leane (35km). Next, a short kayak followed by a hard 18km run from the lakeshore up to the Devil’s Punchbowl on Mangerton Mountain (839m). Then, a descent of Mangerton back to the bikes at the lakeshore for a short ride of 4.5km to the finish line at Muckross House.

The breakdown and maps can be viewed here

Above, a photo taken by Valerie O’Sullivan on Strickeen, the first run stage, overlooking low-lying clouds over what would be Killarney and the lakes.

Excellent Organization

The race was one of the best organized I have taken part in, from pre-communications, to the check-in and registration at Kate Kearney’s Cottage the night before right through to the finish-line where you received a print-out of your time and position on the spot.

The Result

I finished in 1st place in a time of 4 hours 33mins and in 18th position overall. Although I had been aiming for a time of four and a half hours, I didn’t expect the standard of the men’s field to be so high (I had hoped to be within 30 minutes of the 1st male winner). The men’s winner Tim O’Donoghue was 55 minutes ahead of me!

Full results here

I made the front page of the regional paper – ‘The Kerryman’ (not so sure about my photo to the right of that headline though ; )

Another event review in the Irish Times blog

Tme Out

I am officially in off-season mode! It is hard to wind down from such an intense few months. Although I miss the activity levels, I have felt my body hasn’t been recovering well from hard sessions over the last month since the Inferno triathlon, there are twinges in muscles, signs of wear and tear that needs rest in order to repair properly.

I will take 2 weeks of full rest now, just some light exercise and strength and conditioning sessions. Then, return slowly to training with a focus on conditioning for a month or so to strengthen areas I have neglected while I was in race-mode this year.

2013 Plans 

Without going into too much detail. I plan to not compete in multi-sport events next year and focus exclusively on cycling. This is a big departure for me – but for a while I have seen my strength lies on the bike and I have been curious to see how far I can go if I focus on one thing. I have great support behind me from the top amateur team in the region.

I am already excited to see what 2013 has in store!


5 thoughts on “Season Ends on a High at the Helly Hansen Killarney Adventure Race

    1. I have no idea what happened with the goats head…I’m only honoured to share the front page with such breaking news.
      Yes! Marijn is a superb cyclist and a brilliant journalist too – an inspiration!

      1. I love how you phrase it “relatively high age” hehe…basically avoiding use of the word “old” hehe –
        Seriously..Ive only thought about my age this year because there have been a few references to it in conversations regarding my ideas about focusing on cycling – I find it frustrating…especially when they probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid if I said I was going to take Ironman more seriously…

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